Based on hints from research decades ago, Ikuko Akimoto and colleagues at Wakayama University are reporting that powder from high-grade charcoal and other forms of carbon can free hydrogen from water illuminated with laser pulses. For many, this would be quite a breakthrough.  Using a gas component analysis and a repeated irradiation experiment, it was [...]

HyperSolar, Inc. has announced that its artificial photosynthesis technology is now capable of producing 1.0 volt open circuit voltage for use in direct solar hydrogen production. This achievement represents a dramatic voltage increase over the previous 0.2 volt just 8 months ago, and 0.75 volt just 3 months ago.  The firm’s goal is a breakthrough [...]

Research findings published online in Science Express show a way for new initiatives supporting a bio-based fuel economy.  An international collaboration of plant scientists from VIB and Ghent University (Belgium), the University of Dundee (UK), The James Hutton Institute (UK) and the University of Wisconsin (USA) identified a gene in the biosynthetic pathway of lignin, [...]

A University of Michigan research team has joined the forces of a fungus and E. coli bacteria to turn tough waste plant material into isobutanol, a biofuel that closely matches gasoline’s properties in a combined species process.  The research team members said the principle also could be used to produce other valuable chemicals such as [...]

MIT researchers have engineered a new rechargeable flow battery that doesn’t rely on expensive membranes to generate and store electricity.  Instead the battery stores and releases energy in a system that relies on a phenomenon called “laminar flow”.  In a laminar flow two liquids are pumped through a channel, undergoing electrochemical reactions between two electrodes [...]

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